I could think of a lot of different titles for this post...
End of the Easy, Like A Machine... or maybe just I'm Thrashed.
Pick one, they all fit. Coach warned me this type of training was coming and honestly, I'm glad it's here. But let me just say, um, it's quite different than what I've been doing all year so far. The heart rate monitor on the bike now serves to make me push harder rather than to reign me in (I read my workouts now and think, Really? Does he have an idea how hard it's going to be to get my HR up that high AND HOLD IT THERE for 20 minutes?? Answer: He does.) More often than not now, I read the workout, try not to think about it, and just go out and do it. Like a machine- I just program my body to get the work done without letting my brain get in the way. So far it's working.
And my calf has been behaving ever since I had an ART appointment where the guy essentially took a bat to my calves and beat them into submission. It was wickedly painful but I just laid there on the table and grit my teeth like a woman who has been through natural childbirth. I walked out of his office with 3 bruises but it was worth it b/c now I can run. And apparently I have graduated from HR training to pace training on the run so this is very exciting. While the HR training serves a very valuable purpose, it's just not that much fun to actually endure. It's way more fun to read a workout and think, "I'm not sure I can do that??" But then get home and type your notes into Training Peaks and write, "Nailed it."
The cool thing that I notice now though is that my ability to take on and absorb tough workouts is greater than what it has been in the past. I attribute that to 16+ years of swimbikerun training of course, but more specifically, the high volume/low intensity base work I endured for the last several months was really the key. Now when it's time to go faster I find I can do it while not overly taxing myself cardiovascularly. So I can go fast without necessarily going hard. Ah ha! The key to Ironman. I think that coach of mine may know what he's doing after all. ;)
Funny story here... yesterday Tim and I were talking on the phone and he asked me how I was feeling. I told him I was fine. Sort of tired, but not at all near the edge. He chuckled and said, "Oh you're going to regret telling me that..." Indeed. I'm pretty sure a sinister laugh was involved when he wrote my workout for today. But I'm good with that. I like flirting with the edge. I always have. I'm not there yet, but I have a suspicion I'm going to find it here in the next month or so. Stay tuned.
Now, could I please just have ONE bike ride this month that wasn't in the rain?